Tension on IB, Pak says no to flag meet

Tension on IB, Pak says no to flag meet

12 August 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Tension persisted on the International Border (IB) as Pakistani Rangers refused to hold to a flag meeting with the Border Security Force (BSF) in Arnia sector in which the BSF wanted to lodge strong protest with the Rangers over last nightís heavy firing on the IB for about four hours. Official sources said BSF and Rangers had held two flag meetings during past one week at Arnia and Pansar in Samba after unprovoked firing by the Rangers. In the flag meetings, the Rangers, as usual, had refused to own the firing despite being given evidence by the BSF. After last nightís heavy firing at three Indian posts in Arnia sector in which a BSF jawan was seriously injured, the BSF today again called for a flag meeting with the Rangers in Arnia. However, Pakistan refused to hold the flag meeting. Sources said the Rangers, finding it difficult to answer the queries of the BSF on last nightís heavy firing at Arnia causing injuries to a BSF jawan, refused to hold the flag meeting. It may be mentioned here that two BSF jawans were injured in firing by the Rangers at Pansar Post in Samba sector recently. The BSF had lodged strong protest over the injuries to their jawans with the Rangers. Sources said an uneasy calm prevailed on the International Border in Jammu sector after the detection of a tunnel into the Indian territory over 500 meters deep, originating from Pakistan, in forward village of Chechwal in Samba sector. Detection of the tunnel had led to firing by the Rangers twice in Arnia sector and once in Pansar Post of Samba sector in violation of ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan. There had been reports, corroborated by senior police officers, that movement of four to five suspects had been observed in Arnia sector during previous firing by the Rangers. Sources didnít rule out infiltration attempt by the militants under covering fire by the Rangers. The Pakistan Army had also resorted to firing in Krishna Ghati and Poonch sectors recently. However, no movement of the infiltrators has been observed along the LoC during firing by the Pakistani troops. Sources said Pakistan Army and Rangers wanted to activate LoC and IB till Independence Day celebrations hoping that under the cover of firing they were in a position to push militants from some post. However, in view of high alert being maintained by Army and BSF on LoC and IB, the Pakistan Army or Rangers hadnít been able to facilitate intrusion by the militants. The Army had lodged strong protest with Pakistan on hot-line over ceasefire violations on the LoC, sources said.